With Anime Expo getting closer and closer, we need to make sure we are fully prepared for a big event. Recent events caused Anime Expo to host its events only online for a few years, making many, including myself, crave an in-person convention for a very long time. While many are excited, it is also essential to be prepared to make the event as enjoyable as possible.
Sometimes you don’t want to be underprepared for the convention, but you don’t want to be over prepared either. Here’s a personal list on items that could be helpful for the convention:
- Luggage for your belongings
- Don’t overfill in case you want to buy stuff in the convention
- Bring poster tubes or toploader posters if you plan on buying artwork or posters during the convention
- Hygienic needs – Even though the hotels usually provide them for you, it’s recommended to bring your own belongings just in case
- Towel, Shampoo, Conditioners
- Deodorants, some scent item to help with odor
- Toothbrush + Toothpaste
- 3-4 days worth of clothes
- Portable Battery & Chargers
- Identification to verify your identity in times needed
- COVID Vaccine card
- At least an image on your phone should suffice
- Reusable water bottle (1-2)
- With ice
- Lemon optional
- Reasonably sized backpack to use for the convention
- Preferably those that don’t melt in the heat
- Bring plenty just in case
Extra: (Optional, but recommended)
- Autograph boards
- In case a guest you follow/like a lot attends AX
- Small portable folding chair
- Not 100% sure if AX security are willing to allow them as I get mixed response with the previous years
- I use the one you can get at Daiso Japan (High chances that they might sell out)
Day 0 Pre-Planning
With Anime Expo requiring verification before being able to attend the convention, it’s also important to accommodate time for it. While it’s too late for me to recommend you a day 0 night at a hotel, it’s important to keep note in the future that day 0 exists to get all the preparation down without it directly affecting your convention time by waiting in additional lines. Luckily Anime Expo verification booth is available most of the entire day 0 from 6 am to 11:59 pm so you could come really late and still be able to verify before the actual convention date.
In addition to getting all the preparation done for Anime Expo, I would recommend figuring out lunch plans. While we’re all in a convention of something we all enjoy, it’s also important to stop and take a break. Even though food trucks exist outside of the convention, I personally am not a huge fan of them. Naturally, they would be very overpriced for what you would be getting, and the quality can be inconsistent.
You would also stumble across those who run their food carts repeatedly saying, “Hot dogs, Hot dogs.” I have never tried them, but I have heard about health concerns, so I would play it safe and avoid them altogether. I recommend preparing lunch beforehand, such as sandwiches or lunch sets from nearby marketplaces. You could also get pastries if your hotel does not provide breakfast. JW Marriot is one of the few popular hotels for AX attendees that do not offer complimentary breakfast. Of course, freshness and supplies have to be taken into consideration. Ultimately, I find this method a lot less stressful and saves money.
In addition to preparing for the convention, it’s also wise to check the weather. Below is the weather forecast for the AX weekend, according to Weather.com. Honestly, compared to 2019, the weather doesn’t seem as bad. I would still advise dressing properly, especially being considerate when in cosplay and preparing the usual accompanies.
For references, the times for AX will be listed here:
Day 1: 9 am – 6 pm
Exhibit Hall & Artist Alley:
Day 1-3: 10 am – 6 pm
Day 4: 10 am – 3 pm
Non-participants priority members can access 1 hour earlier
Day 1-3: 10 am – 10 pm
Day 4: 10 am – 4 pm
Here are some additional links for references to also aid in your planning:
Personal Closing Thoughts:
While I wished I got this article out sooner, I finally got something out instead of not publishing any articles for at least a whole year (laugh). It’s important to keep a proper plan, especially when many of us have not attended an event for a long time. Hopefully, this procrastination guide helps reassure your procrastination preparation for AX. Most importantly, the point is to have fun and enjoy yourself. Have fun at Anime Expo!